We are a diversified media company, principally focused on radio broadcasting. We operate the 8th largest publicly traded radio portfolio in the United States based on total listeners. As of February 28, 2009, we own and operate seven FM radio stations serving the nation’s top three markets — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Additionally, we own and operate fourteen FM and two AM radio stations with strong positions in St. Louis, Austin (we have a 50.1% controlling interest in our radio stations located there), Indianapolis and Terre Haute, IN.
In addition to our domestic radio properties, we operate an international radio business and publish several city and regional magazines. Internationally, we own and operate a network of radio stations in the Flanders region of Belgium, a national radio network in Slovakia, three national radio networks in Bulgaria and have a 59.5% interest in a national radio station in Hungary. Our publishing operations consist of Texas Monthly, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Indianapolis Monthly, Cincinnati, Orange Coast, and Country Sampler and related magazines. We also engage in various businesses ancillary to our broadcasting business, such as website design and development, consulting, broadcast tower leasing and operating a news information radio network in Indiana.
We are committed to improving the operating results of our core assets while simultaneously seeking future growth opportunities in related businesses. Our strategy is focused on the following operating principles:
Develop unique and compelling content and strong local brands
Most of our established local media brands have achieved and sustained a leading position in their respective market segments over many years. Knowledge of local markets and consistently producing unique and compelling content that meets the needs of our target audiences are critical to our success. As such, we make substantial investments in areas such as market research, data analysis and creative talent to ensure that our content remains relevant, has a meaningful impact on the communities we serve and reinforces the core brand image of each respective property.
Extend the reach and relevance of our local brands through digital platforms
In recent years, we have placed substantial emphasis on enhancing the distribution of our content through digital platforms, such as the internet and mobile phones. We believe these digital platforms offer excellent opportunities to further enhance the relationships we have with our audiences by allowing them to consume and share our content in new ways and providing us with new distribution channels for one-to-one communication with them.
Deliver results to advertisers
Competition for advertising revenue is intense and becoming more so. To remain competitive, we focus on sustaining and growing our audiences, optimizing our pricing strategy and developing innovative marketing programs for our clients that allow them to interact with our audiences in more direct and measurable ways. These programs often include elements such as on-air endorsements, events, contests, special promotions, internet advertising, email marketing, text messaging and online video. Our ability to deploy multi-touchpoint marketing programs allows us to deliver a stronger return-on-investment for our clients while simultaneously generating ancillary revenue streams for our media properties.
Extend sales efforts into new market segments
Given the competitive pressures in many of our “traditional” advertising categories, we are expanding our network of advertiser relationships into new and emerging advertising categories where we believe our capabilities can address clients’ under-served needs. The early return on these efforts has been encouraging and we plan to shift additional resources toward these efforts over time.
Enhance the efficiency of our operations
We believe it is essential that we operate our businesses as efficiently as possible. In recent years, we have undertaken a series of aggressive restructurings and cost cuts, and we continue to seek additional opportunities to streamline our operations.
Establish additional platforms for long-term growth and value creation
While our primary focus is on near-term performance improvement, we also believe it is important to make sensible investments in longer-term growth opportunities. For example, Emmis Interactive Inc., one of our subsidiaries, was formed last year to market to other broadcasters and publishers the leading-edge internet technology platform and digital media sales expertise that had been developed in-house at Emmis Radio. To date, the company has signed up approximately 100 third-party media properties as clients and continues to grow rapidly. Our International Radio division has also been a strong source of profitable growth for the company over the past few years and we continue to search for opportunities to strengthen our existing clusters and expand the geographic footprint of our operations.
As of February 28, 2009, Emmis had approximately 1,015 full-time employees and approximately 355 part-time employees. Approximately 80 employees are represented by unions at our various radio stations. We consider relations with our employees to be good.